Bargaining Recap for December 7

The negotiating teams for the AAUP and administration (ANT) met on December 7 for our last bargaining session of 2017. Having just met a week ago (when we signed three agreements), both sides brought just one counter-proposal.

Below is a description of the proposals that were discussed, followed by a list of the proposals that have been resolved and those that are still on the table:

  • Salary (AAUP) — Last week, the administration offered this faculty a .75% raise (approximately $10 per week) and no raises for the following two years (instead asking that the AAUP reopen negotiation with the administration on salary alone in 2019 and 2020).  PSU faculty have been underpaid an average of 8% (according to the administration’s own comparator data) for many years. Their proposal would put us even further behind our colleagues at similar institutions and would not come close to covering cost-of-living and health-insurance increases. At a time when quality faculty are leaving the University, when retention is suffering, and when faculty are working harder than ever in order to realize the vision of clusters, it is our position that PSU needs to invest in its faculty. As we have said before, faculty success is the success of the university. Given the financial situation the administration has found itself in, we are not asking to achieve parity with comparable institutions in this contract. Our counter-proposal simply asserts that this faculty at least deserves a large enough salary increase to cover cost-of-living and health-insurance increases this year and the next two years. 
  • Retrenchment (ANT) — While the administration left in place many of the provisions we had asked for, their counter-proposal insisted that the reasons for retrenchment (specifically for program curtailment) need not be spelled out. We had conceded that low-enrollment or inability to hire/retain faculty were legitimate reasons to cancel a program and retrench faculty, provided the program curtailment follows PSU’s long-established governance procedures involving the Curriculum Committee and a faculty vote. They argued that the administration might want to curtail a program even if it had adequate enrollment and staffing, and further asserted that administration could curtail a program over the objection of the Curriculum Committee and the faculty. We also discussed the minimum amount of time the admin must wait before hiring additional faculty in a curtailed program, whether in a new position or the same position they had eliminated. Our continued position is that retrenchment should not be an easy, or frequent, option for the administration–the situations that may call for retrenchment should be clear, the processes for making the decision to retrench should be transparent and arrived at via shared governance, and a consequence of retrenching tenured faculty should at least include waiting three years to rehire in the same or similar position. We will work on another counter-proposal.

Our next bargaining session is scheduled for January 26.

Proposals that have been resolved and those that are still on the table:


 Recognition Tentative Agreement Signed
 Union Rights  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Non-Discrimination  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Savings Clause  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Safety  Tentative Agreement Signed
√ Faculty Rights  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Personnel Files  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Academic Freedom  Tentative Agreement Signed
√ Appointments & Rank  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Grievance  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Discipline  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Professional Development Funds & Leaves  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Workload  Tentative Agreement Signed
 Shared Governance Tentative Agreement Signed
 Management Rights Tentative Agreement Signed
 Intellectual Property Tentative Agreement Signed
Promotion, Tenure & Evaluation and Post-Tenure Review   OPEN AND ONGOING
Retrenchment  OPEN AND ONGOING
X No Strike or Lockout  Refused (AAUP)

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